4 Signs Your Water Heater is About to Fail

Leave a Comment - 12


Joseph L Sexton

Subject: Water Heaters.

My first water heater was 20 years old & I only changed it because neighbors were having problems & was kind of ignorant. My present water heater is 25 years old both, were gas operated "RHEEM's". Now, I always use a fiberglass blanket completely surrounding the unit, to increase the insulation, also on the top, I also drain a gallon of water from the unit monthly, I'm sure this contributes to their longevity.


Subject: pilot light

my pilot light keep going out on my water heater is it time to replace the thermal coupler or could it beold water heater? Thanks


Subject: plumbing

Water heaters when there going bad and how to test heating element changing breaker in breaker box

Richard j Lara

Subject: Water heater

I followed all steps to flush electric water heater. Yet water comeing from drain valve is cold (not strong flow), but I have hot water in house ???


Subject: Water Heater

In case ya didn't get an answer on the water heater having cold water from the bottom, that's the way the
water heater works. Water heaters have a "dip tube" that leads from the top of the water heater where the cold water enters and travels to the bottom of the tank where it's heated until the thermostat (also located at the bottom of the tank) senses the new water is at the right temperature to shut the heating source off.

Gerard Manley

Subject: Shadows from the faucet

Perhaps once every few months, whilst running a full open hot water bathtub faucet, what appears to be a shadow will pass down unto the tub water. It is usually followed by one or two other within minutes. Curiously, leaves no trace in the tub water, and there is no accompanying odor. This from a n gas heater. I suspect it is soot. Could it be anything else? Symptom of failure?

janice knapp

Subject: water heater info

Is there a way this information can be sent out as hard copy or computer files that can be printed to share with my adult daughters.


Subject: Printing copies of article

If you can't email your daughters the link then choose "print" from the "file" tab up top and then you'll print out the several pages of the article. Use "draft" mode (and black-&-white) to save on ink.


Subject: Black sediment from relief valve

Hello, my water heater is gas and about 10 yrs old. We've heard some rumbling sounds and when I tested the relief valve, the water that came out was black like a soot. After letting it settle for 24 hours, there is a black sediment/soot looking material at the bottom whereas the top layer of water is crystal clear. Is it time to have this replaced?

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I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had

I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.

I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.

That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.